February is American Heart Month, and it’s a great time to take action to improve your heart health, especially if you’re overweight or obese.
Why Your Heart Health Matters
Did you know that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for American men and women? Heart disease claims the lives of 1 out of every 4 American adults — that’s about 17 million people every year.
The good news is that there are certain risk factors that can tell you if you’re likely to get heart disease. By learning about the risk factors you may have, you can work to prevent these health problems.
Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Risk factors are conditions or habits that make it more likely that you’ll develop a disease. So what are the key risk factors for heart disease?
- Being overweight or obese
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Diabetes and prediabetes
- Unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity
In the past, we’ve discussed how obesity can lead to many of these other conditions. Reducing your weight can go far when it comes to improving your heart health.
Take Action: Know Your Numbers
There is no better time than American Heart Month to become more aware of your important health numbers. By learning about and keeping track of these numbers, you can learn your risk factors for heart disease, monitor your progress in reducing them and motivate yourself to stick to good heart health.
The key numbers include:
- Body weight and body-mass index (BMI)
- Blood pressure
- Blood cholesterol
- Blood sugar
To find out your numbers and to set up a plan to bring them within the healthy range, arrange an appointment with a doctor.
Take Action: Change Your Lifestyle
The best way to improve your health, reduce your weight and prevent heart disease is to make positive changes to your lifestyle through diet and exercise.
To reduce your weight and fight back against heart disease, eating a healthy, balanced diet and committing to an active lifestyle is crucial.
Dr. Dirk recommends a diet that is high in protein, low in carbs and made up of unprocessed foods, lean proteins, whole grains and produce. Committing to daily calorie-burning aerobic exercise is also crucial to effective weight loss.
Sometimes, diet and exercise aren’t enough to help you lose weight. In those cases, weight loss surgery is an option. When paired with diet and exercise, weight loss surgery has been shown to have a real effect on heart health:
- 95% of people are able to avoid diabetes or make it easier to treat
- 93% of people see improved blood pressure
Don’t wait until American Heart Month is over to start taking your health seriously. Call (214) 308-0189 today to set up an appointment with Dr. Dirk to discuss your weight loss options.